Horrific: Trump Refuses To Give Fire Aid To California As Its Fires Rage
According to Forbes, the Trump administration rejected California’s request for federal disaster aid as it recovers from this year’s devastating wildfires, following President Donald Trump’s repeated criticism over California’s handling of the matter.
- State officials said the administration offered no reason for the denial of funds, which Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reportedly requested on Sept. 28.
- Those funds “would be used to help with rebuilding destroyed infrastructure and covering damages from the deadly wildfires,” Forbes reported.
Brian Ferguson, deputy director of crisis communication and media relations for the state’s Office of Emergency Services, told the Los Angeles Times that the state was asking for the “highest level of federal support,” but did not ask for a specific amount, as the fires are still ongoing and the full extent of the damage is still not yet known.
- Newsom noted in his letter of request that five of the six largest wildfires in the state’s history occurred this year.
- Forbes noted that the Trump administration “previously provided federal assistance to California this year, issuing a federal disaster declaration over the summer in response to two wildfires in the state.”
- More than 8,500 wildfires have burned across California this season, according to the report, devastating 4.1 million acres.
Trump has frequently criticized how Democratic-led California handles its wildfires, blaming the issue on poor “forest management” over climate change—despite the fact that nearly 58% of forest lands in California are owned by the federal government, as compared with only 3% owned by the state.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted in 2019. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.”
Update: Trump has reversed this policy after public outcry.
MORAGA, Calif. — President Trump reversed himself on Friday, approving a package of wildfire disaster relief for California hours after officials from his administration had explained why the state should not receive the aid.
The abrupt turnaround came after the president spoke with Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican and the House minority leader, with the White House saying the men “presented a convincing case” for the state receiving the aid.
The disaster relief aid covers six major wildfires that scorched more than 1.8 million acres, destroyed thousands of structures and caused at least three deaths last month.